ABC to broadcast full primetime block of classic game shows, rebooted for summer 2016

ABC figured out how to bring back the primetime game show some 17 years ago with Who Wants to be A Millionaire, and after a successful run last year of Celebrity Family Feud with Steve Harvey, the broadcast network is going all-in on Sunday nights this summer.

The big news of the week: Hiring Alec Baldwin to host a primetime reboot of Match Game.

The new version of Match Game will anchor a three-hour block fronted by Celebrity Family Feud and a reboot of The 100,000 Pyramid hosted by the in-the-insider-news Michael Strahan. Strahan’s Pyramid reboot already was in the works, but news of promoting him from Live with Kelly and Michael to Good Morning America made major waves inside ABC over the past week. As well as with Ripa, who was none-too-pleased to see ABC consider her show as a stepping-ground.

But back to Baldwin.

And Match Game.

Fans of the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and its annual summer Del Close Marathon long have known that Match Game ’76 was the peak moment of each DCM, anchored by host Paul Scheer (who appears on ABC in primetime already in Fresh Off the Boat) and eternal contestant everyone loves to hate, Jack McBrayer. Various productions have attempted rebooting an actual version of Match Game, sometimes with Jimmy Pardo as host. TBS made a pilot in 2008 with Andy Daly hosting. A Canadian version did move forward a few years ago, surfacing with Darrin Rose hosting on The Comedy Network in 2012. Baldwin might not have been your first choice for the role, but he did put on his best Charles Nelson Reilly impersonation for a sketch honoring Match Game on Saturday Night Live.

“I am beyond grateful to ABC and FremantleMedia for the chance to host a summer series of the legendary Match Game,” said Baldwin. “Hilaria and I are thrilled to donate this fee to arts-related charities. And we look forward to having a lot of fun.”

Celebrity Family Feud with Steve Harvey, The $100,000 Pyramid with Michael Strahan, and Match Game will air from 8-11 p.m. ET/PT Sundays beginning June 26, 2016, on ABC.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

View all posts by Sean L. McCarthy →